Small Wars Journal

Military Police Operations and Counterinsurgency

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 1:52pm
Military Police Operations and Counterinsurgency

by Major Matthew R. Modarelli, Small Wars Journal

Military Police Operations and Counterinsurgency (Full PDF Article)

Within the Department of Defense (DoD), each service is assigned military police officers, special investigators, and special agents charged with countering every kind of criminal activity. These personnel are highly skilled in obtaining evidence (i.e. actionable intelligence) to disrupt and neutralize criminals and their illicit networks. It is precisely this skill set that when applied to an insurgency simplifies the process of targeting and neutralizing insurgent leaders, subsequently leading to overall more effective security operations. Using current cultural training and linguist support, this DoD capability could be organized immediately and assigned to jurisdictions (i.e. battle space, province, or theater level) in a given occupied country. By adopting a military government and law enforcement (LE) command and control (C2) structure, military forces would be able to focus on restoring security and justice to occupied areas using police techniques. Organized within a proper military government C2 structure, security operations could be kept in lock-step with local, provincial and theater-level counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns. With no interagency support available for the foreseeable future, the DoD must turn to its own organic capabilities immediately and organize appropriately to support the functions needed to maintain security while properly identifying and neutralizing insurgent leaders and groups.

Military Police Operations and Counterinsurgency (Full PDF Article)

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Ken White

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 2:54pm

That's not, in my opinion, a very sound proposal. I think it is in fact inimical to his nominal goal; COIN as a police directed operation -- a concept with which I agree.

Were there to be an insurgency fought on or in US territory, he'd have a great idea and I'd wholeheartedly endorse it. Fortunately, at this time, we do not seem to have that particular problem.

On the other hand, for US aid to another nation in battling their insurgency, the last thing that's needed is a US centric law enforcement based approach.

That Nation's police need to do what Major Modarelli suggests or, better, adopt a Gendarmerie approach with US Military law enforcement advice and assistance. The US must aid, not control and we <u>must not</u> be <i>the</i> operators.